Nikola's founder is donating $233 million worth of stock to the electric truck company's first employees

  • Nikola's founder is giving away 6 million shares of the company to its earliest employees. 
  • Trevor Milton, who now serves as executive chairman, will still own about 82 million shares, or 20% of the company. 
  • Since a reverse merger in June, the electric-truck maker's stock has soared despite having not sold any vehicles.
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Trevor Milton, founder of the electric truck startup Nikola, announced Wednesday he was giving away over $200 million worth of his stock in the company to some of its earliest employees.

After a reverse-merger in June, Nikola's market value surged (although it's pared many of those gains in weeks since). Milton, who currently serves as executive chairman and de-facto social media face of the company, will still own about 20% of its stock after giving away the 6,005,162 shares.

"When we first started this company out of my basement our chances of success were pretty low," Milton said in a press release. "I promised those initial, daring employees that I would take care of them one day. Today, I make good on that promise and deliver over six million shares to the original employees who took the job and risked their careers on a long-shot idea. They earned it and have helped me become who I am today. I am forever grateful."

Approximately 50 employees will be receiving shares, Milton said, and they must be held until at least December. At Thursday's prices, the shares are worth about $233 million total.


Nikola's yet to sell a production model of its hydrogen-powered heavy duty truck, though its touted deals to supply garbage trucks and semis to well-known companies. It's also taking pre-orders for a mass-market pickup truck, called Badger, which starts at $60,000.

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